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CFN Shakedown Cruise: Calvin Beal 36

by Brian Robbins

Welcome to another CFN Shakedown Cruise.

Periodically, we will focus on a new launch and dig a little deeper into what went into the project – whether it be a new model or a hull well known to the New England commercial market.  What we hope to do is provide insight and information our readers can apply to their own setups … and, as always, offer up a little entertainment along the way.  —Editor

BEALS ISLAND, ME – It was one of those moments.

You know that mixture of pride and head shaking a father might display when his son steals the basketball, drives down the court, and slam dunks one in total hotdog style?

Well, it was sort of like that, only the roles were reversed.

I was aboard the 42’ Vondell Lea, the most recent Calvin Beal model owned by Calvin S. Beal, the son of the well-known designer/builder Calvin Beal Jr.

I know, I know: that’s a lot of Calvins in one sentence.  The quick explanation is, Calvin Jr. (the father) and Calvin S. (the son) have different middle names.  I’ve always known Calvin Jr. as “Calvin” and Calvin S. as “Bubba”; for purposes of this story, how about we refer to them as Calvin and young Calvin?

Anyway, since his first new boat of his own back in the 90s (a Mitchell Cove 32), young Calvin has owned and fished a string of hulls designed by his father.  This most recent Vondell Lea makes the second Calvin 42 he’s owned: he finished, fished, and sold one last year; this one is already sold once lobstering tapers off by year’s end; and he has another 42 in the shop, waiting to be finished over the winter.

We were up in the head of Alley’s Bay over on Beals Island, easing along out into Moosabec Reach.  On our starboard quarter was the brand-new 36’ Jeannine Marie – Calvin Jr.’s latest finish project for himself.

The plan was to get a little ways out ahead of the Jeannine Marie and shoot him as he crept up by us, with the sun at my back.  But when young Calvin started to throttle up, I gestured to Calvin Jr. to do the same … and he just plain dumped the throttle.

The Jeannine Marie’s 500-horse QSC8.3 Cummins didn’t bat an eye; there was no thinking about it at all – the 36-footer just took off without a whole lot of fuss, lifting all over without any bow-high moments, and blistering out ahead of us.

Young Calvin’s 42 (also powered by a QSC8.3) is no slouch, but his father had gotten the jump on us and we …

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